Zack Snyder’s Justice League
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ray Fischer, Ezra Miller, Amy Adams
Director: Zack Snyder
To say Zack Snyder’s Justice League is indulgent would be an understatement. However, for a film that was a result of a massive fan-campaign spanning almost four years, it would be insulting if it was any other way. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the filmmaker’s magnum opus and that is exactly why he gets to keep long sweeping shots of snow-capped mountains and make the superheroes walk in and out of locations in slow motion.
With a run-time of four hours and two minutes, Zack Snyder makes his allegiance clear with his Justice League. He has made this film as an ode to the things he loves, his daughter Autumn, the franchise that he gave so many of his professional years to, the characters he seems to worship, the DC Comics and the fans who urged him to keep fighting for his film when there was ‘no more fight left’ in him (his words). It doesn’t matter to him what critics think, what the studios (who have promptly changed their tune with the change in time) think. All that matters is people who felt robbed in 2017 find a sense of closure.
If you are watching Zack Snyder’s Justice League, all four hours of it, you are either a person who watched the Joss Whedon version in theatres in 2017, and couldn’t bear to watch it again. Or you must be like me, someone who went back, watched the DCEU films and made notes to see what changed and what didn’t. There is nothing wrong in being either type of viewer. However, if you are the former, you might not have noticed that things like the sign outside Martha Kent’s house goes from red in the previous film to black in the new one. For the people in the latter category, these small changes exhilarate us, even when we know that it is just a foreshadowing for something bigger, something extremely cool.
There are many exhilarating moments in this lengthy saga. My personal favourite is a tiny addition. When Steppenwolf attacks the Amazons, he brags about his parademons feeding off of their fear. Queen Hippolyta says, “Daughters of Themyscira, show him your fear,” to which the warriors say, “We have no fear.” It is moments like that make Zack Snyder’s Justice League the film it is.
There are a lot of creative decisions that Snyder takes that makes this a different film, not just a different version. For starters, Steppenwolf doesn’t work alone here, he answers to the DC supervillain Darkseid. Other changes include a bigger focus on Cyborg, some additional cool characters and changes in the storyline from the three hour mark. We will not list them, for they can be considered to be proper spoilers.
It almost feels criminal to find faults with this film. However, I am a little disappointed by how it changes Barry Allen’s character. Like the 2017 version, Barry is the comic relief hero here too, but in the previous one, he was more vulnerable and humane. In the 2017 film, there is a scene where Batman tells a very scared Flash to rescue ‘just one’ hostage and then he will ‘know’ what to do. This gets left out in the version. His reluctance in digging Superman out of his grave is also changed into him making jokes about it. We get that he is a hero, but putting them on a pedestal all the time makes them boring too.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is not a perfect movie. However, it is the film that people wanted. From R-rated gratuitous violence, a brick-load of nihilism, stunning VFX, psycopathic villains to frequent use of F-bombs, the film tries to straighten out the identity crisis the 2017 film had. The strained comedy is gone but you still hear witty one-liners from some characters. It is definitely darker, which is good for DC fanboys who think being dark is a personality trait. It must feel good to be a fan tirelessly campaigning to get this movie and to see it deliver.
For everyone else, including myself, who is watching the film from the periphery and impartially, there is no denying that the film exhausts you to your very core. However, should you be a part of this mass Euphoria regardless? Absolutely.